As an elementary school librarian, I was definitely sad to read The Thank You Book, the 25th and final Elephant & Piggie book by Mo Willems, to my students. One of the first purchases I made with my book budget when I started two years ago was to get two copies of each and every Elephant & Piggie book on the shelves and they are always checked out. Kids love these books, they actually try to read these books and I love reading them out loud. Kindergarten story time always ends with pleas for one Elephant & Piggie story and I always oblige. I was ecstatic when I walked into the children's section of a bookstore and saw The Cookie Fiasco by Caldecott winner and all around talented funny guy Dan Santat on display, looking very much like an Elephant & Piggie book in trim size and format.
However, I was skeptical. Was this just a gimmick to keep selling books by using beloved characters as a hook? Whether it is or not, the fact is there is always more room on the shelf for highly entertaining beginning readers and, if done right, using Elephant & Piggie to introduce readers to these new books (much like the Cat in the Hat is used to sell books not written by Dr. Seuss) is just plain smart. Happily, Hyperion Books has some very smart editors and publicists working for them. Choosing Dan Santat to kick off the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series was a brilliant move. With The Cookie Fiasco, Santat brings the same excitable personalities to the page along with a gorgeous palette and a very fun illustrations style - along with a great story. Best of all? Willems generously recreates Elephant and Piggie on the end pages as well as the first and last pages of the book, during which they introduce the book then comment on it. And, of course, Pigeon pops up where you expect him and even where you don't...
Cookie time turns out to be fiasco (and math) time when four friends try to share three cookies in The Cookie Fiasco. A hippo, a crocodile and two squirrels are excited for cookie time but not sure what to do when they are one short. Anxious over the tempers that seem to be heating up, Hippo worries the cookies, breaking them in half. Things go from bad to worse when Hippo breaks them in half again! But, when Hippo hands the cookie pieces over, the friends realize that they can now divide them evenly, three pieces each! The final gag of the book comes when a cow walks in proclaiming, "MILK TIME," and carrying a tray with three glasses of milk on it.
More books in the
Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series